this is lemonade

A mindful, grateful, creative life: Life constantly hurls lemons at us. I’m on a mission to make lemonade as best I can, by God’s grace.


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WOW Wednesday: Tea leaf eggs

image

Chinese Tea Leaf Egg Shell

I’ve been away for so long and I’m missing this space. Doesn’t mean I’ve not been aware of beautiful things though in spite of my baby brain!

Just wanted to share a thing of beauty. A friend made me some Chinese Tea Eggs this weekend and I just love the pattern on them when you peel off the shells. They are also delicious. Enjoy!

Hope you are all well xx


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Feeling lazy but lively

I did want to publish a woolly post today. It’s long overdue. And I had an idea for a Meaningful Monday post last week… but promptly forgot what it was… I’ve been missing you guys, but am feeling increasingly tired and weighed down by a very lively creature in my belly that I can’t wait to meet. Not long to go now…

I’m not personally dancing that much these days… but I hope this video spreads a little of the joy that gorgeous blue sky, with wispy hints of cloud stretched across it, on a whole day full of sunshine has been making me feel today. And this is how I feel about my London Town too. I’ve been feeling a bit WOW today in short… hope that you enjoy what essentially is a Cadbury’s chocolate advert. Ahh well, maybe Cadbury’s will send me a few bars of Dairy Milk just to make my day unbeatable? HAha… a girl can dream big :P

I hope you are all well…Take care! xx


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RIP Robin Redbreast

The robin is apparently Britain’s favourite bird. This sprightly little creature with its iconic bright, cheerful red breast is an uplifting sight particularly in our typically dreary weather.

Robin Redbreast - Lincoln Inn Fields Park - Holborn, London | Keven Law

Photography by Keven Law from Los Angeles, USA [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The closest I’ve come to a robin before today, was really quite close. Whilst I was pulling out weeds in the garden during a past, seemingly distant summer, one hopped right up at about 2ft away. I could not believe it was so close. The robin is not a timid bird, not our urban ones anyway. I remember stopping what I was doing in wonder, and staying very still so that I could observe it.

Sometimes, on a down day, the D.H. Lawrence poem, Self-Pity, comes to mind. I am often challenged by our frail, feathered friends and how enthusiastically they go about their daily business for the short time that they are on earth.

I never saw a wild thing
sorry for itself.
A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough
without ever having felt sorry for itself.

Last night, I found a lot of tiny feathers and dust in my bathroom. They seemed to have emanated from the extractor fan. I cleared everything up hoping that I would not find any more in the morning. I didn’t. The builder currently fixing up some bits and pieces in my home at the moment, kindly offered to take the vent cover off from the outside, to see what was in the flue. We found a beautiful, lifeless, yet peaceful-looking robin. I have never held such a delicate bird before. Despite having shed a lot of feathers, presumably in a bid to get out of the vent, it did not resemble the mangled mess we had envisaged at all. It was the most beautiful, immaculate thing – as though it had just dropped dead without having struggled at all.

Holding this near-weightless creature in my hand, a sombre feeling came over me. I was filled with a sense of awe and reverence. I felt sorry that it had somehow managed to get in and become trapped and was thankful that the bathroom fan is out of order at the moment. I was also thankful that we had found it before the flies got to it… The circle of life. A funny thing. Awe-inspiring and awful all at once.


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Having a last minute break

Sorry for dropping off the edge of the blog in an unexplained manner again. ‘Busy‘ taking an unexpected breather. Feeling on top of the world and honoured to be in one of my favourite places in the world. It’s not just a WOW Wednesday, it’s been a WOW Week!♡

I wish you all a beautiful week dear friends. Summer is well and truly in Western Europe right now. Every day of sunshine is like a new surprise. If you don’t have sun where you are, we definitely have some to spare.. I hope this greeting sends some cheering rays your way! :)


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{WOW Wednesdays} Plush Perfection

I haven’t done a WOW post for a while. I’ve tried really hard to make lemonade recently, but it always turns out flat. With all this grey cloud, white cloud, dark rainy cloud business it’s hard not to succumb to SAD – even though the current season was named “summer” a long time ago, I think the UK should have a specific season simply called “grey”. I love that we have long, long days in the summer here in the UK. I love that we can see blue skies from time to time, and white fluffy clouds. But for that, we also have dull grey skies, stormy, blustery rain storms and dismal, chilly nights.

I have been filled with wonder through this year so far though. It did take a while for nature to wake from its slumber in “spring”. But when it did it was relentless. At the first ray of sunshine, green sprouted everywhere. Then there was rain and everything suddenly exploded with vigour. Butterflies flitted in and out of the shrubs, robins darted back and forth hopping excitedly about doing their thing, squirrels stopped anxiously digging up supplies and checking on their dwindling larder stock…

pink peony

At the beginning of June, I started getting excited. I have a herbaceous peony plant in my garden, and it had sprung up out of the ground again as though overnight. When we moved in a couple of years ago, I didn’t know it existed. Then, a few months afterwards, some stems and leaves appeared out of nowhere. We wondered what this mysterious plant could be. It didn’t seem to be a weed and though lush looking, was decidedly bland with its long rigid stems and waxy dark green leaves. Then one day, I went out into the garden and saw some familiar, tight balls of red fringed green with some pink peeking out. I could not believe it. We had inherited a surprise. My absolute favourite flower.

pink peony

I only discovered peonies maybe ten years ago? All I remember is that there were some curiously spherical buds for sale at the supermarket. They had lovely firm stems and waxy leaves and were marked down considerably. I put them in a vase when I got home. I was intrigued when they started opening up and revealed a most amazingly soft pink clutch of petals.

pink peony

But it was the morning when I discovered that small ball had exploded into a huge lush puff of powder pink something like eight times its original size that I was completely smitten. The peony ended up being the star of my wedding bouquet. And that’s me, who isn’t really into powder pink. But this particular pink is deceptive, those petals are seriously resilient with a lovely smooth texture. The mere idea that this small, tightly packed sphere can possibly unfurl into an amazing show of abundance with such a wonderfully calming fragrance still bowls me over.

pink peony

pink peony

So you can imagine how special it was for me to discover that, hiding beneath the cold, hard, frosty soil of winter, was this wonderful plant in my garden. Waiting to surprise me. And this year, perhaps due to the strangeness of the seasons so far, there are almost twice as many buds on the plant as last year. I couldn’t help but cut one to take inside to cheer things up. Sometimes I just find myself sitting there staring at it. I am filled with this indescribable amazement and wonder. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me just to see it.

pink peony

The sun is fighting through the clouds right now. I wouldn’t call it the height of summer, but it sure is good to get some colour outside the window. I am reminded that sometimes we may struggle, sometimes things fall apart, sometimes we fall apart, but we aren’t here alone. When I look at nature, I see that we are not designed to rely upon ourselves. Looking at this flower, in its frailty, God’s design enables it to withstand the cruelty of my secateurs and still bloom to give me such enjoyment of it. I give thanks for where I am right now, in spite of not knowing where I am heading. For what it’s worth, I am also thinking of you all and keeping you in my prayers, especially if you are enduring difficulties however great or small, wherever you may be.

And below was the soundtrack for May – the wedding themes I enjoyed. They remind me of sunshine, I hope to spread some to you too (even those of you who don’t like sharing!) ;)

  1. River Flows in You – Yurima
  2. A Thousand Years – Christina Perri

(Links via Soundcloud)


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Wonderful Spring

I’ve been filled with wonder that spring has sprung. I spent some time bird watching from the window today and wondering why it is that the smallest of birds love to sit fully exposed to the buffeting of strong winds at the very top of the longest thin tree branch that points skywards. I’d be more likely to hide somewhere among the budding branches down below, where there is more shelter. That seems to be what I’ve been doing in the past few weeks when I’ve gone missing on the blogging scene.

Thank you so much for your wonderful comments and for continuing to visit, even though I seemed to have passed out for lack of fish and chips. They were real encouragements and it cheered me up no end that such an affinity developed over my favourite deep friend dish! Since that last post, I have eaten fish and chips twice (the last time was two nights ago). I now feel reasonably fortified and would like to return. Perhaps, I might even gingerly hop higher up the tree and feel the breeze… who knows, I might eventually take flight!

For today, I intend to pay back a debt. I owe you a Wonder Wool update. Way back in winter, I posted a little sneak preview to see if you could guess what I was knitting. I was making my foray into baby knitting for a friend. She has since safely received both the hat for her and the knit for baby (as well as delivering an adorable baby girl) so I can reveal what I was knitting for the first baby project I set myself:

Patons Jessica Baby Booties

I intend to do more – I was hooked! They knit up relatively quickly and I learned some new techniques. It’s a Patons newborn pattern involving knitting two rows into each other to form the pretty scalloped edge.

Knitting something for this brand new little person, gave me time to think about the fragility of life. How one person can bring so much joy or devastation to the world. How every small action we take or every word we speak, can have a huge impact on someone else for good and bad. This post from a couple of sisters I love to read, was at the same time thought provoking and challenging along those thought-lines. I thought I’d share it – cherish this moment!

Once again, I thank you for your kind words, even though I have been so slow to respond. Thank you friends! I pray that you have strength in your wings for whatever you are facing today x


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WOW Wednesday: the creative spirit

I’ve given myself a little bit of a break from the blog over the past week or so. I just needed to think about other things in life other than blogging, although I’ve missed it. Thank you for dropping by even though I haven’t posted any fresh content. I really appreciate that you have used your precious time to stop by and read. Welcome to all new visitors!

I’ve given the WOW Wednesdays series an even longer break I must admit.. but I haven’t stopped saying “wow!” In fact, it’s those little wow moments that inspire me to keep moving onwards and upwards, even on those days when I feel like I’ve tripped over and slid on my backside down the slippery slope I’ve been trying to scale and ended up at the bottom again. So I thought it would be a nice way to get back to the blog this week:

I recently stumbled across some videos that made for fascinating watching. They each show different kinds of creative projects I found inspiring. Instead of just pinning them, I wanted to share them here. I’m simply going link them up below. I hope they bring some inspiration to you midweek. My favourite is the last, because it is a story of a great collaboration. You might want to watch the finished music video first (linked below) and then watch the one of the making of it which is the one I’ve included here. Up to you!

Which is your favourite and why?

(Oh go on, this advert is cool too.)

(The HQ version is here but I’d recommend watching the above first for a great performance – if you don’t mind whooping students!)

(The finished music video is here.)

Take care and have a peaceful and productive remainder of the week. Just one more weekend until Easter! Do you get Easter holidays where you are? If you gave up something for Lent, how is it going?

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